There’s something about the Smartisan T2 Android smartphone that makes you want to hold it constantly in your hand. It could be the smooth 2.5D Gorilla Glass surface which you can feel at the front and back of the device or it could be its solid aluminum frame which wraps around the phone in one piece. It could also be the minimalist design approach that Smartisan has done with this model. Whatever the reason, this device truly stands out in a marketplace that’s filled with run off the mill phone designs.
After using the T2 for a week I’ll be giving my review and impressions of a review unit which I got.
Receiving The Unit
The phone is nicely packaged in a black box that’s sturdy enough to protect the device. The box itself also follows a minimalist design with nothing much written on it. When you open the box you will be greeted by the Smartisan T2 unit in black. You will also get the usual documentation as well as a charger with its own case. I would have preferred the charger to be black instead of white to stay true to its motif. Take note that no earphones are included so you have to use your own pair.
Setting Up The Phone
The phone uses a nano SIM card. The SIM tray is conveniently integrated in the right volume/brightness button ( the function of this button can be customized). Just poke a pin in the hole and out pops the SIM tray ( a SIM tray removal tool is included with the package). When you turn on the phone you will have to perform the initial setup. Just follow the instructions on the screen.
One thing you will notice is that the phone does not have Google services installed so you will have to get this from the Smartisan market if you rely heavily on Google. I myself downloaded the Google Play Store first then proceeded with downloading the usual Google apps that I regularly use.
Using The Phone
For those who are unfamiliar with Smartisan, the company uses its own tweaked Android version called Smartisan OS. This is based on Lollipop 5.1 and is what is powering the T2. Although the interface is different it is quite easy to use and is more or less similar design wise to iOS. You can customize the way the phone looks by choosing the best launcher configuration that suits your needs.
I haven’t experienced any lags or freezes with this phone as it seems to handle apps pretty well. In terms of gaming I have only tested Clash of Clans on it so it’s not a good gaming benchmark since this game can run smoothly on models with lesser processing power.
One unique feature to the T2 is that it is designed to work for either left handed or right handed users. You can easily customize what the left and right button rockers do. The menu and back keys can also be swapped to suit your preference.
Another feature which I find useful is the rolling screenshot. This allows a user to take a single screenshot of a long conversation without taking multiple screenshots.
What I’ve noticed though is that if I’m connected to my LTE mobile data the phone gets a little hot at the back when playing some games and accessing my social media accounts.
Call Quality, Messaging, Internet
In terms of call handling the phone performs quite well. You can clearly hear the other person on the line which is great. The volume of the call is loud enough even when in a crowded environment.
Text messaging also works quite well. There’s an option for you to cancel the message being sent as long as it is done within 4 seconds after pressing send.
Sending emails is also quite easy. You can minimize the main draft window then copy a text from another email and paste it in your draft. You will also be able to drag an attachment from one email to another.
In terms of Internet connectivity I only had issues once with my LTE connection. This was when I immediately used the device after its initial setup. The connection seemed to be spotty while my other phone had a stable connection. Once the prompt for a software update appeared and was applied to the device the LTE connection became stable.
One of the highlights of this phone is its audio quality. The company uses the Hi Fi Texas Instruments OPA 1612 chip on both the left and right channel to produce a premium sound quality. This allows you to use your high end headphones with this phone and enjoy to your favorite music. A headphone optimization feature allows you to choose what model headphone you connect to the device which in turn adjusts the sound quality based on the model you are using.
The phone uses a 13MP Sony Exmor RS Sensor f/2.0 rear camera. Sample photos using the camera can be seen below. All shots were taken with HDR mode turned on.
Since I’ve been using the phone for only a week I can’t really give an accurate assessment on its battery life. What I can say though is that if the phone is fully charged in the morning and used for making calls, sending text messages, checking emails, and of course the usual raids in Clash of Clans I still have around 10% battery life left at the end of the day.
Smartisan T2 Technical Specification
- Display: 4.95” JDI Pixel Eyes display, 1920×1080 pixel resolution at 445 ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass (3rd Generation)
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 (MSM8992) Processor
- GPU: Adreno 418, 625 MHz
- RAM: 3GB LPDDR3
- Rear Camera: 13 Megapixels, ƒ/2.0 aperture with 28 mm equivalent focal lens, LED flash with high color-rendering index
- Front Camera: 5MP
- Video Recording: Front-facing camera: 720p HD video at 30 fps; Rear camera: 4K (3840×2160) video at 30 fps
- Sensors: Gyroscope, Gravity sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor
- Battery: Non-removable 2670 mAh lithium-polymer battery
If you are looking for a phone that’s not made from the usual brands then the Smartisan T2 is worth checking. It has a slick beautiful physical design that comes with respectable hardware specifications. Although the phone is currently only available in the Chinese market you can still get this from online retailers.